Friday, 29 January 2016

Ship's Ahoy!

My lovely husband has written a book! Today is the launch date. If you like ships you're probably going to love it. There are hundreds of excellent photographs of ships and thousands of interesting facts about ships.

He's far too shy to be interviewed, so I'll just quote some of the things he said whilst he was writing it. Some you might empathise with if you've written any kind of book yourself and one I *may* have made up.

"I've always wanted to do this."

"That's the first chapter done, the rest shouldn't take long."

"Why did I think this would be a good idea?"

"I'll never get this finished."

"Never again."

"It's all right for you, you just make it all up."

"All my success in life ever is due to my wonderful wife and the brilliant way she carries my tripod for me. She's terrific in every way."


"Never again."

"No I can't go out/eat dinner/come to bed/talk to you - I've got a book to finish."

"This was a terrible idea."

"Never again."

"Huzzah! Finished."

"I wonder if anyone will buy it?"

"They want me to do another one. That might be a good idea."

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Six plates of sardine soup

Helen Yendell is running another of her fun short story competitions. She's provided word prompts; key, planet, soup, sardine, six. And there are prizes of £25 and £10 Amazon vouchers.

I always try these. Usually my efforts end up way over the required word count, but that's OK as it means I've 'won' a story idea, even if I don't actually enter.

I know what you're thinking - the moon isn't a planet. You're right, but it's where the soup dragon lives and he could be the key to winning this.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


A quadragenarian is someone who's between 40 and 49 years old.

Here's an example.

Monday, 25 January 2016


The latest issue of Kishboo magazine is out. It's free to read and there are articles by writers, 20 short stories and a few poems  and book reviews too.

In each issue there's a free to enter poetry competition, with two £5 prizes. There's also a short story competition. There's a £3 entry fee for that. Four prize winners are selected by public vote, with two further entries recieving an Editor's choice award of £15.

I have a story in the current competition. You can read (and vote for it!) here.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Want £1.875 per word?

If my maths are correct, £1.875 per word is the minimum rate the winner of this short story competition would get. If you wrote less than the maximum 8,000 words then it could be even more. Just divide the £15,000 top prize by your word count to get the exact figure. There are four further, smaller but still not bad, prizes.

There are pages and pages of rules and regulations, which you'll need to read carefully. They include the requirement to be a British National or UK resident and to have been previously published.

The odds of winning are exceedingly slight, but I'm going to improve my chances a little by actually sending in an entry. How about you?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Abaddon is an old world which can either mean hell or a place of destruction, or be used to suggest an unpleasant angel or a devil.

I'd try to keep both at a safe distance, if I were you.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Translucent is a nice word. It always makes me slightly hungry as it reminds me of 'suculent' and is most commonly encountered in cookery books referring to fried onions. I do like fried onions.

If something is translucent it allows light to pass through diffusely - just as partialy cooked onions probably do (I've never actually fished one out the pan to test that). It's also described as semi-transparent.

Can you think of anything other than onions which is translucent?